If you have an outdoor grill – great. If not, a grill pan works fine. This method works with lots of different vegetables so be creative.
1 bell pepper
Salt and black pepper
½ tsp, cumin (optional)
Cut the vegetables into convenient sized pieces. Toss them with salt, pepper, cumin, and olive oil.
Lightly brush the heated pan with oil. Cook the vegetables, turning once. Get the grill marks on both sides.
They’re fine as is but if you’d like a simple dressing try this. Cut a head of garlic in half and wrap the two pieces in foil with two tablespoons of olive oil. Roast at 350o in a pre-heated oven for 20 minutes. When cooled, squeeze the cloves out of the sliced head into a bowl. Add balsamic vinegar and olive oil with a dash of salt and pepper and stir into a thin dressing.
One theory about the invention of the Mojito is that it came about as a cure for scurvy by English sailors in the New World. Another is that it was concocted by African slaves in the Caribbean to make their aguardiente a little more palatable and the name mojito came from mojo, a magic spell or charm.
6 mint leaves
½ oz. simple syrup
2 oz. white rum
¾ oz. lime juice
Club soda, to top – optional
Garnish: mint sprig
Garnish: lime wheel
Muddle the mint with the simple syrup in a shaker. Add the rum, lime juice and ice, and shake. Strain into a highball glass over fresh ice. Top with a splash of club soda or sparkling mineral water if you like. Garnish with a mint sprig and lime wheel.
Our granddaughter Molly came over for dinner with some friends recently. After we ate, we served espresso with the desert they brought and Green Chartreuse as an after dinner drink. Chartreuse, which comes in green or yellow is a liquor produced by French Carthusian monks. It’s made with over a hundred different herbs, including cannabis, but the exact recipe is the monk’s secret. Chartreuse is perfect for sipping on its own but here’s a cocktail that can be made with it – The Last Word.
The Last Word Cocktail Ingredients:
¾ oz. Gin
¾ oz. Maraschino liqueur
¾ oz. Green Chartreuse
¾ Fresh Lime Juice
Put all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a cherry.
These barbeque chicken wings aren’t barbequed but marinated in barbeque sauce. You can make them as spicy as you like.
½ cup ketchup
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp. paprika -hot or mild
½ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. cayenne (more if you like it hot)
2 lbs. (7 or 8) chicken wings
Salt and black pepper
3 tbsp. butter
Pre-heat the oven to 350o.
Pat the room temperature chicken dry and season both sides with salt and black pepper.
Combine the first 6 ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the chicken and thoroughly coat it with the marinade.
Heat the butter in an oven proof pan. Shake off excess marinade for the wings, add to the pan, and fry it over high heat. Turn and toss the wings for about 8 – 10 minutes until the edges begin to crisp and brown.
Place the pan in the oven for 10 – 12 minutes to complete cooking. Remove the chicken to a plate, add the remaining marinade to the pan and place the pan on low heat. Add ½ cup of water and scrape up any brown bits. Boil until the sauce thickens. Return the chicken to the pan, coat with the sauce and serve.
Preheat broiler with the upper rack as high as possible.
Heat the oil in a heavy pan and add the bell pepper, salt, and black pepper. Fry it until the bell pepper starts to brown on its edges.
Beat the eggs in a bowl and add to the pan. Stir it to coat the pepper slices with egg. One bell pepper to three large eggs is a good ratio of ingredients. Once the egg starts to set but the top is still moist, place it under the broiler for 2 o 3 minutes to finish cooking. Serve it on Italian bread.
Pasta Con Sarde is a well-known Sicilian dish. It involves scaling and cleaning fresh sardines, and gathering other ingredients like pine nuts, raisins, and fresh fennel fronds. It’s delicious but not the simplest sauce to make. Here’s a short cut version – Facile Pasta con Sarde.
¼ cup olive oil
Salt, black, and red pepper
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 can sardines packed in olive oil
1 ½ lbs. ripe tomatoes
½ pound long pasta
Grate the tomatoes on the large holes of a box grater and set aside.
Sauté the garlic in oil in a pot on low heat. Add the salt and pepper and the sardines. Break up the sardines and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes to the pot. Bring it to a boil, lower heat and let it simmer for 30 minutes.
In another pot of salted water, cook the pasta until almost done and add it to the sauce to finish cooking.
Definitely no cheese on this sauce but a sprinkle of toasted breadcrumbs or chopped parsley would be fine.
Here’s a fairly simple recipe for one of my favorite Indian dishes – curry chicken. The curry powder I’m using is comparable to approx. 1 tbsp. minced ginger, 1 1/2 tsp. paprika, 1 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric, 1 1/2 tsp. ground coriander, and 1 tsp. ground cumin.
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. curry powder
1 (15-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt & black pepper
Add the oil to a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add chicken and sear until no pink remains. Stir in garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the curry powder, mix thoroughly and cook for about 2-3 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and broth and bring to a simmer. Stir in the cream, and season with salt and pepper. Simmer until chicken pieces are cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with basmati rice.
When I was in high school, I often ate at Dom’s Luncheonette on Broome Street. It was run by an Italian family, a father and his two sons. Dom’s Steak and Onions was one of my favorites. I tried duplicating it and think I’ve finally got it.
1 lb. strip steak
Olive oil for frying
1 or 2 Spanish onions, (depending on how much you like onions) sliced in half moons
Salt and black pepper
2 tbsp. tomato paste
½ tsp. oregano
2 bay leaves
¼ cup tomato puree
½ cup red wine or water
Bring steak to room temperature and season with salt and black pepper. Heat the oil on high and sear the steak until lightly browned. It will be very rare but don’t worry, the steak will continue cooking with the onions. Remove the steak from the pan and set aside.
Add more oil to the pan if necessary and fry the onions until they soften. Season with salt and pepper. Add the tomato paste and blend with the onions and continue cooking then add the oregano and bay leaves.
Trim any excess fat and slice the steak across the grain into quarter inch strips. Return the steak to the pan and toss with the onions. Add the tomato puree and a half cup of wine or water, stir and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover. and simmer for 15 minutes. Add water if you feel that it’s too dry or that the sauce is too thick. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve with rice or on Italian bread sandwiches the way Don did.
A steak and onion sandwich a’ la Dom’s Luncheonette.
Different families have different recipes for orange salad. I’ve had it served with thinly sliced red onion. Try that if you like. Substitutions are permitted. Chopped dates instead of currants, walnuts for pistachios, and rose water for orange flower water. You can also vary the amounts of the ingredients depending on what you like.
3 large oranges
¼ cup currants, rehydrated and chopped
¼ cup pistachios, chopped
3 tbsp. chopped mint
2 tbsp. orange flower water
Juice of ¼ large lemon
A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
A pinch of salt and a light sprinkle of confectioner’s sugar
Using a very sharp knife, peel the oranges, leaving no pith. Slice thin rounds, then cut them into half-moons and arrange them in a serving dish. Pour any juice from cutting the orange over the slices.
Sprinkle with the currants, pistachios, and mint. Drizzle with the orange flower water, lemon juice, and the extra virgin olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and some confectioner’s sugar. Orange salad Sicilian style can be served chilled or at room temperatures.
I got this Turkish Roast Chicken recipe from a friend (no, she’s not Turkish). Cutting the chicken this way is the reverse of spatchcocked, but it works.
3 – 4 lb. chicken
Salt & black pepper
2 tsp. olive oil
2 pats butter
4 smashed cloves of garlic.
2 tbsp. honey
2 tsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. mustard
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tbsp. paprika
1 tsp. coriander
Cut the chicken open through the breast to the backbone. Spread and flatten with your hands and then push it flat using a rolling pin. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and black pepper.Heat the oil and butter in an oven proof pan and sauté the garlic until golden. Remove the garlic and add the chicken skin side down.
Cover with a dish and exerting downward pressure with the dish, cook on medium high for 4-5 minutes. Turn the chicken over and cook the same way for another 5 minutes. Keep applying pressure as it cooks to flatten the chicken. Remove the chicken from the pan and pour out all but 2 tablespoons of grease.
Marinade – Mix the honey, soy sauce, mustard, tomato paste, paprika, and coriander into a paste. Brush the chicken on both sides with the marinade. Return the chicken to the pan, cover with foil and roast at 400o for 45 minutes. Uncover and roast for another 10–15 minutes.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes, cut into quarters and serve.